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‘This school continues to be good’ OFSTED March 2017

May 2nd, 2017

As you are all aware, we had our OFSTED inspection on 21st March and I am delighted to share with you that we continue to be judged as a ‘Good’ school. We are all incredibly proud as since the last time the school was inspected in 2013 there have been many changes to the Ofsted Inspection Framework, which now has even higher expectations before a school is graded good or better.

The latest OFSTED Short Inspection Report, dated April 2017 can be viewed here.

The new short inspections for good schools are designed to focus on the quality of leadership and the capacity of leaders to drive improvement and safeguarding arrangements. Throughout short inspections, there is honest, challenging, professional dialogue between leaders and the Inspection team.

There is also a change in the way OFSTED outcomes are reported. Following the short inspection, the HMI writes a report in the form of a letter to confirm that the school remains good and that safeguarding is effective. The letter addresses progress since the school’s last inspection, what inspectors have seen during their visit and next steps the school needs to take.

Our Lead Inspector was extremely astute and experienced. The report clearly captures the progress of the school since the last inspection and the incredible dedication of our whole community; the team of staff and governors who work tirelessly to ensure the students of Harrow Way get a very good well-rounded education, you, our parents and carers and most importantly our wonderful students.

The inspection team acknowledged the hard work and achievements of our students and staff. Below are some comments from the letter I think you will find interesting:

  • You have created a school that is calm and purposeful. Teachers and pupils are proud to part of the school community
  • You are determined to improve standards in your school and have created and shared clear plans to do so.
  • Senior leaders have assisted you in developing committed and hardworking staff who are recognised by parents as ‘always going the extra mile and beyond’ for pupils.
  • Senior and middle leaders are resolute in ensuring that all pupils make good progress.
  • Teachers have high expectations of pupils to work hard and achieve the best that they can. Pupils appreciate that teachers make lessons enjoyable and plan work to challenge all pupils in the class.
  • You have developed a culture of safeguarding in the school that is recognised by staff, parents and most pupils.
  • Parents report that they work in partnership with the school and problems are solved quickly and effectively. A parent echoed the views of others by describing ‘a dedicated group of staff led by an exceptional headteacher’.
  • You keep a sharp focus on aspects of the school that need to further improve and have taken decisive actions to bring about improvements in several areas.

The formal letter reporting on Ofsted’s findings will be published on the Ofsted website (https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/) next week and on our own website later today. Parents who would like a paper copy can request one through our school office.
In conclusion, we are pleased that Ofsted has recognised many of the strengths and the progress we are making as a school. Their judgements certainly match our own self-evaluation and we are already addressing the next steps they have highlighted. We are not, however, complacent and will always strive to be an even better school.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for all their hard work and commitment. I also thank all parents for your ongoing support of the school and the partnership we work in to ensure the best for your children.

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